Well? Do you let yourself enjoy the moment … or do you just exist in it? Worse… do you exist in the past or the future instead?
I know it might sound like an unusual question, but I’ve thought a lot about this recently.
The truth is, I know that I don’t always enjoy the moment the way I should, but I’ve also realized many times I’m simply not in it at all!
If I’m not sounding clear, I’d like to ask you to take a close look at your subconscious habits to prompt you to think about a thing or two.
I’m also hoping this might strike a cord with you and if it does, perhaps you’ll join me in changing a few things.
I’ll start by asking a few questions just to clarify my point:
**Have you ever gone out to meet a friend for lunch, (or similar) even though you really didn’t ‘feel’ like it or feel you should because there were other things you thought you should be getting on top of? Then, throughout your visit you couldn’t stop thinking, fretting and feeling guilty about all of the other things you thought you should be doing instead?
**Have you ever been involved in a conversation with someone but you only caught half of it and didn’t really absorb the experience because your mind was on something else?
**Have you ever attended an event and missed half of what was happening because something else was occupying your thoughts?
**Last but not least… have you ever gone for a meal somewhere and perhaps allowed something like heavy traffic or poor service to overshadow the enjoyment?
I can answer a resounding yes to all of these things and could kick myself for doing so.
It sounds a bit daft really, but I became clear on these quirks only last week when my daughter was telling me a tale and caught myself. (Or rather, she caught me!)
During her chat, she asked me a question and I answered “yes” when the response really called for a “no”. In other words my answer didn’t fit her question at all.
She gave me a funny look and said “Mom… were you even listening to me?”
I froze and tried to recall what she’d said but had no choice but to “fess up” and ask her to repeat herself.
It was then I realized I was too busy thinking about what I was making for dinner and the work I wanted to accomplish later on.
I stopped in my tracks and sat her on my lap and made a conscious effort to listen to every word she said (the second time around…poor little thing ) and reflected on the many other times I’d done the same thing.
I then got to thinking about some days I take my son to Karate and sit through his class staring blankly at his activities while pondering other things I deem important at the time instead of paying attention to what he was doing.
I thought about the times I’ve had unexpected visitors when I was in the middle of something and privately felt guilty about taking time out to have a coffee and a chat rather than just being thankful for the visit.
I’m not saying I’m like this all the time. But there have been times that in essence I’d allowed myself to miss out rather absorb the experience and enjoy the moment.
I thought today would be a good time to bring this up because as a result of realizing my shortfalls, I made a conscious effort to change and I pulled it off with top marks!
I spent the day downtown Vancouver at my daughters cheer leading competition. It was a bit of a zoo; parking was in short supply, the crowds were huge, and frankly it was nothing short of chaotic.
I decided not to get my knickers in a twist when the parking attendants told me the lot was full. My mom was with me and a little stressed about finding somewhere to park as well.
I simply said “never mind… we’ll find one” (a parking spot that was) and took one final lap around the parking lot.
Low and behold just as I was about to leave the grounds to search elsewhere, there sat a perfect little parking spot for me to slide into right by the entrance!
With that behind us we went inside. Kids and parents were packed like sardines; there was nowhere to sit and it seemed to take an eternity to shuffle through the crowds to get to where we needed to be.
It was a bit of a gong show… but because I decided not to let things get to me and be a big deal… they really weren’t.
I remained focused on the fact that I was there to watch my daughter and her team and that this competition meant a lot to her, and decided just to accept that it “was what it was” and soak up the excitement of the day.
I met lots of people, as well as ran into many I hadn’t seen for a while and the day was nothing short of perfect.
I also made a point of not drifting off into deep thoughts of the ‘what I should be doing instead’ zone, such as grocery shopping, laundry, housework, blogging, etc. and just to leave all this other ‘stuff’ behind knowing it would wait.
It was truly amazing how this mindset made such a difference.
I was right on the ‘things will wait’ part too! They did wait and I’ll be catching up tomorrow!
Furthermore, to finish off the day perfectly, was that one of my friends (my daughters’ little friends Grandma) asked if I could drive her home, close to where I live, as she had caught a ride to the event with someone else.
Of course I was pleased to have her join us and we went on to have the most wonderfully inspiring and eye opening conversation on the way home. (I’ll be sharing this tomorrow so please keep a look out!).
The day was perfect. I can honestly say that by being present and deciding to enjoy the moment instead of subconsciously creating reasons why not to.
I know that so many times we peculiar little beings conjure up and fabricate reasons to feel guilty and put pressure on ourselves unnecessarily.
The truth is, we deserve to enjoy life and should, instead of fabricating a reason why not to.
can be IS too short and we should live it to the fullest. Our kids grow and get busy doing their own things and before we know it and we won’t always have them with us wanting to spend time with us and share their daily experiences.
Our friends are important too. They are also a huge part of what makes our world go around and they too enrich our lives. This should not be taken for granted.
We are important and deserve a break to smell the roses.
Everything else can
usually wait. Besides thinking about things doesn’t achieve anything… and it’s ridiculous to miss out on the “here and now” because we allow our addiction to mind chatter to cloud the present moment.
There’s a lot to be said for a saying I heard a while back: “There are things in life that can’t be gotten back: The stone once thrown, the word once spoken, the event once missed and time”
It’s true. Why bother participating in the joys of life if we’re not going to make the most of it and rather fret about other things instead?
Next time you find yourself drifting off rather than listening or participating in life’s simple treasures, make a conscious effort to snap out of it and bath in the experience. It’s rewarding, very fulfilling and much better use of your time.
Do you allow yourself to be fully aware and be fully present in all of your activities to thoroughly enjoy the moment or do you drift sometimes and get in your own way only to realize you’ve missed out? Please share your thoughts below!